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Consiglio di Sicurezza – Dibattito su “Maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine”

Discorso pronunciato dall’Ambasciatore Maurizio Massari, Rappresentante Permanente dell’Italia presso le Nazioni Unite, al Dibattito in Consiglio di Sicurezza su “Maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine.” —

Madam President,

We are thankful to the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom for organizing this meeting, and to all the briefers for their insightful remarks.

First and foremost, let me take this opportunity to reiterate Italy’s firm condemnation of the unjustified and unprovoked aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and our full support to Ukraine and its people.

We are deeply concerned by the repeated attacks on civilians, including women and children, and by the testimonies and reports of war crimes, grave breaches of international humanitarian law, and serious violations of international human rights law perpetrated by the Russian armed forces.

As the horrifying images we have been seeing in the last months confirmed, human displacement is the inevitable reaction to the scourge of war and the search for the safety of civilians.

As it has been mentioned, 7.1 million people are indeed internally displaced, and there are over 4.5 million refugees. Even though these numbers are already shocking, they are continuing to grow as we speak.

Refugees are a priority that requires an international and coordinated approach. Hence, we welcome the efforts of IOM, UNHCR and the other UN agencies on the ground. In order to try to alleviate this unbearable human suffering, we provided a contribution of 20 million euros to the UN Flash Appeal and 6 million euros to the Red Cross.

Madam President,

Italy has been following migration flows from Ukraine since 2014, also in light of the presence of a large Ukrainian community in our Country: almost 250 thousand Ukrainians live in Italy accounting for one of the largest Ukrainian Diasporas in the world before the war.

In addition to them, we have already welcomed almost 100.000 refugees and we are ready to do our part in assisting all the Ukrainians arriving in Italy.

Nonetheless, we must point out that the Ukrainian refugee crisis is a protection crisis for women and children – that account for 90 percent of all those fleeing from Ukraine across the borders.

We know that the risks of gender-based violence, trafficking, abuse, psychological trauma, and family separation increase in times of conflict and displacement, but given the gender profile of this refugee outflow, and the fact that many children have fled alone, these risks are incredibly high.

The testimony of rapes and sexual violence by Russian troops that are now emerging are in fact utterly disturbing.

The protection and promotion of women and girls’ rights, and the fight against all forms of sexual and gender-based violence, both in times of peace and armed conflict, is a longstanding commitment of Italy. We believe full accountability must be ensured for the individual perpetrators of such violations, so as to avoid any form of impunity.

Madam President,

While reaffirming our condemnation of the Russian aggression, Italy reiterates its call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of the Russian military forces from the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, and the return to a negotiating path. We also reaffirm our heartfelt solidarity with Ukraine and its people and mourn all the victims of this senseless war.

I thank you, Madam President.